I often associate food with what is happening in my life. This pasta came along when we were going thru some tough times. I had a house full and made this yummy pasta. It was comfort food--just what we needed at that moment. I never could remember the name of it, we just referred to it as "That Really Good Pasta". Life was chaotic at that time and somehow I lost the recipe. We searched and finally found the source. It came from a great blog, "Get Off Your Butt and Bake". If I only had one day left on earth...I'd want this Pasta, she claims. And I think I would agree!
Life has slowed down a bit and I made this pasta again--it was still as delicious as I remembered it. My daughter was doing the food for a luncheon for 30 women. She made this pasta, it was a hit. This recipe may seem labor intensive but all the components can be made ahead and then assembled at meal time. That is a plus when feeding a crowd.
Why is this so good? Is it the bacon or the fried ham, it may be the asparagus or the creamy sauce. All I know is that it adds up to one amazing dish. Try it soon.
That Really Good Pasta
1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken (rotisserie works great)
1 cup diced fried ham
1 cup crisp bacon for the sauce
1 cup crisp crumbled bacon for the top
1 diced Roma tomato (squeeze the juice out)
6 stalks of cooked asparagus, or cooked broccoli can be used
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese for sauce plus additional for the top
Pasta--whatever you like, mini bow tie works great
1 cup cup milk
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
a few sprinkles of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Fry bacon till crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Fry diced ham in a small amount of the bacon grease. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of brown sugar on the ham, cook until brown sugar is caramelized and the ham is golden brown. Set aside
Melt the butter, add the flour and stir for a minute. Add seasoning and whisk together until bubbly. Whisk in the milk, cream and chicken broth. Stir constantly until you have a smooth thick sauce. Lower heat and add the grated cheddar and Parmesan cheese. Stir till melted and smooth. Add 1 cup of the crisp bacon, the fried ham and the chicken and lemon juice. Cover pan and keep on very low heat. Cook pasta till al dente. I would cook about a pound of pasta--but you might not use all of it. Drain pasta.
Plate pasta, pour sauce on and top with crisp bacon, asparagus, diced tomato and Parmesan cheese. If sauce seems too thick add a bit more broth or milk. Or mix sauce with pasta--make sure you don't have too much pasta. You can always add more pasta but you can't take it out! Top with bacon, cheese, diced tomato, asparagus and Parmesan cheese.
Leftovers make a great lunch. Warm it up in a saucepan--don't let it get too hot.
Recipe from, Get Off Your Butt and Bake , thank you very much!